Moon Falcon

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About

A medium sized bird of prey which hunts at dawn and dusk, named for its colouration.
Common Names
Moon Falcon, Aikiuatempt (Waejir)

Description

Classification
Bird
Size
Males are 48 to 61 centimetres (19 to 24 inches) long, weigh 805 to 1,350 grams (1.775 to 2.976 pounds), and have a wingspan from 110 to 130 centimetres (43 to 51 inches). Females are bulkier and larger, at 51 to 65 centimetres (20 to 26 inches) long, 124 to 160 centimetres (49 to 63 inches) wingspan, and of 1,180 to 2,100 grams (2.60 to 4.63 pounds) weight.
Appearance
Medium sized bird of prey with distinctive plumage colours and pattern. Grey breast with large white spots, grey head, a rusty red-brown saddle and alternating red and grey banding on the upper side of the tail. and wings.
Sexual dimorphism
Adult males are about 75% the mass of adult females, and have a reddish feathered crest on their head.

Ecology

Habitat
Moon Falcons are found from sub-tropical to sub-arctic hills, forests, savanna and scrub land.
Diet
Carnivores, catching and eating a variety of small mammals, reptiles, and birds.

Behaviour

Social grouping
Mated pairs, sometimes with 2-3 juveniles.
Temperament
Typically neutral, but become aggressive when defending their nests or young.
Intelligence
Animal intelligence
Reproduction
A mated pair will establish a nest upon a tall tree, or rocky prominence. About every three years the female will lay two or more eggs. Male and female will alternate turns brooding and guarding the nest, while the other hunts. Generally after the first few hatch additional eggs are pushed from the nest. Both parents will hunt in earnest, bringing prey back to the nest for their offspring. The young falcons will be capable of flight after 60-80 days; and will be able to hunt on their own by their fourth month of life.

Domestication

General
Moon falcons are a popular choice for domestication by falconers. They respond reasonably well to training, and their size makes them suitable hunters of small game. Typically eggs are taken from nests near the time of hatching, leaving a single egg for the parents to raise, and saving any surplus eggs from infanticide.
Resources
Moon Falcon feathers make excellent fletching for arrows.

Stories

See Also